In my very first entry in this little series, I took the chance to knock generic love songs, even blaming one Mr. Paul McCartney for setting the tone for a million rip-offs for all eternity. It’s funny how time changes things.
To start with, Macca will be playing the Yum! Center next month and you can bet your ass that I’ll be kissing his. I may have a critic inside me, but I’m also classy enough not to slam a Beatle. I love The Beatles. They did it all and let the rest of us try our best to hide the fact that whatever we were doing was in direct lineage to what they created. But I don’t mind telling him about my thoughts of his post-Mop Top creations. Or rather, what they spurred.
He can’t be blamed completely, of course. The man was in love. Once Linda was in his life, we were all subject to public affection through the most cliche lyrics (thank god for the music that backed it). Because that’s what love does to us. No matter what we’ve said in the past about crappy mid-90s Aerosmith, we’ve all found ourselves hoisting up the flag of “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” while we’re lying next to that special someone, two hours from sunrise. Three hours from the early shift. Yes, in the throngs of love, I don’t want to close my eyes either, Mr. Tyler.
So why all of the mushy wubby-dubby all of a sudden? Because in just under two weeks time, I’ll be getting married. And if you’ve been down this road, as the music obsessive that you are, it’s critical that you get the soundtrack right. What’s the ratio of hip, lesser known think pieces to schmaltzy pop radio staples? Do you throw all rules out the window and cheese it out for the whole evening? How many times can you get away with playing Bad English’s “When I See You Smile”? Because if all goes well, this is your only shot. Let’s make it count.
All of that aside, one of the best parts of compiling your wedding songs is the revisit you get to take down Memory Lane (or if you wanna revisit the time in high school when you got to second base, Mammary Lane. Ey-o!). It’s a fun game. All of the songs that happened to be playing in all of the best moments of courtship. Can you name them? How deep can you go, and do you get in trouble for being able to call out a song that was playing when your partner thought you were paying attention to them? That last one’s a big fault of mine. I can’t tell Jenn what she was wearing, but I am completely confident that “The Tallest Man On Earth” was on the record player. And me personally? I think that’s just as important. We put our two accounts of that night together, and we’ve got the full puzzle. You’re welcome, honey.
Luckily, when it all comes down to it, most of the pressure goes to the DJ. We’ll be using Matt Anthony, who I have full faith in as someone with plenty of experience in laying down the boogie. There will be no Duck Dance, there will be no Butterfly Kisses, there will be no You Can Leave Your Hat On. …OK, maybe that last one. Or all of them. Or better yet, every cliche wedding song ALL AT ONCE. We’ll get them all in and over in less than 3 minutes.
I mean, maybe it’s OK to throw out all of the rules. This is one of the only times when you ask all of the different parts of your family to come hang out with you in a time that’s not a holiday. And best, you don’t have to clean up after. So, while our first dance will be to the Jim James song “A New Life” (playing when I proposed), would it be the worst thing to follow it up with Lionel Richie’s “Hello”? Or maybe Kenny Rogers’ “Lady.” Or for that matter, Styx’s “Lady.” I mean, if we’re going to go all-out, I may even have to request “Silly Love Songs.”
But probably not.
Kyle Meredith is the music director of WFPK and host of the nationally syndicated “The Weekly Feed.” Hunting bears was never his strong point.